Agenda and minutes

    Venue: Committee Room

    Contact: Wendy Johnson 

    Items
    No. Item

    14.

    Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Checkland, Councillor Little and Councillor Norman.

     

    15.

    Declarations of Interest

    16.

    Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

    Minutes:

    The Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 July 2019, as printed and previously circulated, were taken as read and approved as a correct record.

    17.

    Mid-Year Treasury Management Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

    (Report of the Head of Finance & Procurement – Anthony Thomas)

    18.

    Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 780 KB

    (Report of the Head of Internal Audit Services – Rebecca Neill)

    19.

    Risk Management Update to include Risk Management Policy and Corporate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 959 KB

    (Report of the Head of Internal Audit Services – Rebecca Neill)

     

    20.

    GDPR/Data Protection Policy pdf icon PDF 101 KB

    (Report of the Monitoring Officer – Christie Tims)

     

    Minutes:

    Christie Tims (Monitoring Officer) provided an update on the actions taken since the implementation and proposals to ensure the Council remains compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, these have all been outlined in the report.

     

    Whilst the implementation has been completed the underpinning systems were clearly not completely embedded.

     

    The MetaCompliance tool has been introduced, this is the underpinning system which will ensure everyone is up to date on responsibilities.

     

    Members raised concerns surrounding the potential risk that the perception of the requirements set by the General Data Protection Regulation could negatively impact the general principle of being open and transparent.

     

    Christie Tims assured Members that the general principle of being open and transparent remains a priority but with channels of open communication regarding the application of the exceptions and clear protection for personal data.

     

    Members raised questions regarding the current Data Protection Officer being employed at a different organisation.

     

    Christie Tims confirmed the Data Protection Officer duties are very specific and provided by an expert in the field. The Legal Services Agreement means the Data Protection Officer will be embedded within the shared legal service launching in the New Year and there would be no risk that they would remove themselves from any challenges faced by Lichfield District Council.

     

    RESOLVED:-  The Committee noted the Report and the ongoing work to improve assurance of compliance with General Data Protection Regulations

     

     

     

    21.

    The Rules on Confidentiality pdf icon PDF 111 KB

    (Report of the Director of Transformation & Resources – Neil Turner)

    Minutes:

    Neil Turner (Director of Transformation & Resources) introduced the report. It was emphasised that a decision to restrict publication was for the Monitoring Officer.

     

    Members asked a series of questions regarding the language used to justify restricting reports and the mechanisms in place to review restricted reports with the view to subsequent publication. Questions were also asked about reports relating to property investment and procurement.


    Members noted that there was a powerful public interest test which could over-ride any of the reasons for confidentiality.

     

    It was noted that in future there would be an additional explanation as to why reports are being considered in confidence.

     

    Neil Turner said that officers advised of the acceptable reasons for restricting reports.  

     

    RESOLVED:-  The Committee noted the Report

    .

     

    22.

    Annual Report of the Monitoring Officer - Complaints pdf icon PDF 93 KB

    (Report of the Monitoring Officer – Christie Tims)

     

    Minutes:

    Christie Tims provided the committee with an update on Member Code of Conduct complaints. There were 13 complaints received at the time the report was published.

     

    Members highlighted the increase in complaints and requested a breakdown of types of complaints received.

     

    Christie Tims confirmed that one third of complaints received at the time of publication were in relation to code of conduct for District members. The remaining complaints were from the Parish Councils and included complaints raised by both members of the public and other serving councillors in respect of behaviour at meetings

     

    Christie Tims confirmed the rise in complaints being received from Parish Councils and could be, on the most part, be minimised by the inception of new effective relationship building techniques. To manage this increase, training will be provided at the next Parish Forum with Parish Clerks being encouraged to attend.

     

    RESOLVED:-  The Committee noted the Report as well as the ongoing work to improve standards and members understanding of the code

     

     

     

    23.

    The Annual Audit Letter for Lichfield District Council pdf icon PDF 314 KB

    (Report of the External Auditors - Grant Thornton)

     

    Minutes:

    The Annual Audit Letter for Lichfield District Council was presented.

     

    Members requested reassurances from Anthony Thomas that due diligence had been followed to ensure the proposed fee for additional work was charged at a standard level across other authorities.

     

    Anthony Thomas confirmed all checks had been conducted and this is a standard further work fee being applied with all local authorities. The fee increase was due to a change in the previous procurement agreements for inclusive further work which had proven to be unsustainable for external audits. The fee increase is due to the reduction in the fee as part of the procurement process which was not sustainable.

     

    24.

    Certification Work for Lichfield District Council for Year Ended 31 March 2019

    (Verbal Update of the External Auditors - Grant Thornton)

     

    Minutes:

    Representation from Grant Thornton provided a verbal update on the Certification Work for Lichfield District Council.

     

    The work on the housing benefit sector has been completed and no new errors have been identified, the areas identified were held to be immaterial by Members.

     

     

    25.

    Work Programme pdf icon PDF 100 KB

    Minutes:

    A revised Work Programme was circulated and the Chairman asked for any additions/alterations to the programme.

     

    Rebecca Neill suggested asked the internal audit charter and protocol and internal audit plan be moved from the April 2020 to the March 2020 meeting and that the quality assurance and improvement programme and review of internal control including public sector internal audit standards self-assessment summary be moved from February 2020 to March 2020 as there are fewer items on currently on the March 2020 agenda. The Committee agreed this. In addition, Cllr White suggested that where fewer items are present on the agenda that consideration be given to providing items of relevant training material to members.   

     

     

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